Dr. Steele: What is a heart health lifestyle? My name is Dr. Erica Steele. I’m a holistic doctor in family practice. I hold six degrees in my field and they’re all in the natural healthcare space. So let’s talk about what a heart healthy lifestyle looks like. So first off, it’s a combination of habits that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
And so habits really start with a thought. So you have to think, have an intention, make a decision. , right? Then you have an emotion around that decision, usually, hopefully a motivation, and then you have action. So your thoughts create your emotions, and then your emotions create your actions and your actions create your behaviors and your behaviors create your lifestyles because of your habits.
So let’s talk about some healthy habits for your heart. Number one, eating a healthy diet. So eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can also help to lower the risk of heart disease and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Try to avoid processed foods like added sugars and saturated fats.
I typically say, if you don’t, can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. If it’s God made, eat it. If it’s manmade, stay away from it. Pretty self-explanatory. Number two, exercising regular. So regular exercise and movement can help to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. You wanna aim for at least 30 minutes of moderately intensive exercise, such as brief walking or bike riding on most days of the week.
So pick a, an activity that you enjoy, that you love, and then take it from there. Number three, maintaining a healthy weight. So being overweight or. Actually increases heart disease, mostly because it puts more pressure on the heart. That doesn’t mean that what’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another person or vice versa.
So we wanna make sure that we look not just at the weight number, but also body composition. Cuz there’s a lot of people out there that are. Really built very strong and they have a lot of lean meat, excuse me, lean muscle. And so because of that, this scale may be really high, but they’re really strong. So we really wanna be concerned about your visceral fat that’s fat around your organs and your midsection, because that is really what.
We’re concerned about, especially when it comes to metabolic syndrome or diabetes or heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. Number four, managing stress. So stress, again, gasoline on any fire. Can increase the risk of heart disease.
So practicing stress management techniques such as breath work, which is deep breathing, yoga or meditation, can help to reduce stress and improve your overall health as well as wellbeing. Number five, not smoking. Smoking some major risk factor for heart disease and stroke because you’re literally depriving your cells of oxygen.
So quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health if you need help with that. We do have a smoking sensation program that’s completely natural and drugless. We use homeopaths, we use clinical hypnotherapy, and there’s a step-by-step process that we follow over a month long and we detox the body and reduce cravings all at the same time.
It’s a hundred percent natural. Number six, limiting alcohol intake. If you drink, that’s fine, but drink in moderation. So moderation is defined as one drink per day for women, or up to two drinks per day. For men, that can help reduce the risk of heart disease if you’re not drinking excessively.
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. But also liver disease, diabetes, and any number of health conditions. Number seven, managing chronic conditions. So if you have a chronic condition such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, it’s really important to work with your healthcare provider to manage these conditions.
Through lifestyle changes, medications, or both? So again, I’m a holistic doctor. We don’t deal in medications, but we do work integrative. So a lot of times if patients are being proactive with their health, we’re working with them step by step so that we’re preventing these conditions rather than just waiting one time a year to go into the medical doctor and then, oh my gosh, there’s all these things.
We can actually measure things before they become a problem. So we can teach you how to be proactive instead of reactive with your health. The last thing is getting enough sleep. So lack of sleep can increase the risk of heart disease. So you wanna aim for about seven to eight hours of deep restful sleep.
So that maintain, that means maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, which can be challenging if you have. The late shift, or you have an erratic schedule, it really will throw off your circadian rhythm, and so it’s very difficult to be able to get good sleep. A lot of times if you have stress and you’re ruminating, which means you’re overthinking, you may need to address that first, the stress response so that you’re able to get good sleep naturally.
If you’ve had any history of trauma in your past or you have any anxiety, it can be really tricky to get enough sleep, so definitely consult your provider. It’s important to note that everyone is different. I love what I do because it’s so unique and I’m able to look at all the data. We take over 350 data points on each individual patient, and so we really give to the individual what the individual needs rather than just generalized approaches.
The best approach may vary depending on your personal health history, so it’s important to always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. Tune in to find out more.